その後の、Harold Camping信者たち

まもなくHarold Campingのラプチャー予言ハズレ一周年にあたり、Religion DispatchのTOM BARTLETTがその後の信者を追っている。

Not that believers didn’t have their doubts in the beginning. Everyone I talked to assured me that they, too, weren’t sure at first. But after a certain point, maybe without consciously realizing it, they made a decision to abandon those doubts, to choose to believe. A young mother tried to help me understand the evidence before throwing up her hands. “It’s about the believers and the unbelievers, you know?” she said.

“They’ve been around forever and as much as we’re positive, there are going to be people who are going to question it because they don’t believe, if you know what I mean? If you believed it you’d be as sure as I am.”


「それは、信者と非信者の違いです。彼らは永遠に周りにいて、私たちと同じようにポジティブです。信じていないが故に疑問視する人々がい続けます。わかりますか? もし信じていれば、私と同じように確信を持っているでしょう」

[TOM BARTLETT:Where Are They Now? (2012/05/18) on Religion Dispatch]
疑うという行為はコストがかかる。特に大きいのは、「事実を確定できないために、何をすべきか定まらない」ままに時が流れていくというコストだ。そのうち、ゴミとして捨てるか、疑うことをやめるか、いずれかになるだろう。それが、Harold Campingのラプチャー予言でも同様に起きていたようだ。

I was struck by how some believers edited the past in order to avoid acknowledging that they had been mistaken. The engineer in his mid-twenties, the one who told me this was a prophecy rather than a prediction, maintained that he had never claimed to be certain about May 21. When I read him the transcript of our previous interview, he seemed genuinely surprised that those words had come out of his mouth. It was as if we were discussing a dream he couldn’t quite remember.


[TOM BARTLETT:Where Are They Now? (2012/05/18) on Religion Dispatch]
Other believers had no trouble recalling what they now viewed as an enormous embarrassment. Once October came and went without incident, the father of three was finished. “After October 22, I said ‘You know what? I think I was part of a cult,’” he told me. His main concern was how his sons, who were old enough to understand what was going on, would deal with everything: “My wife and I joke that when my kids get older they’re going to say that we’re the crazy parents who believed the world was going to end.”


[TOM BARTLETT:Where Are They Now? (2012/05/18) on Religion Dispatch]
Among those I came to know and like was a gifted young musician. Because he was convinced the world was ending, he had abandoned music, quit his job, and essentially put his life on hold for four years. It had cost him friends and created a rift between some members of his family. He couldn’t have been more committed.

In a recent email, he wrote that he had “definitely lost an incredible amount of faith” and hadn’t touched his Bible in months. These days he’s not sure what or whether to believe. “It makes me wonder just how malleable our minds can be. It all seemed so real, like it made so much sense, but it wasn’t right,” he wrote. “It leaves a lot to think about.”



[TOM BARTLETT:Where Are They Now? (2012/05/18) on Religion Dispatch]

それはさておき、Harold Camping自身が「2011/5/21と2011/10/21という日付に何らかの意味がある」としつつも、ラプチャー予言について誤りを認め、新たな予言を出していない。このためか、その昔のSeventh Day Adventistの例などで見られる「予言が外れてからが宗教の本領発揮、より凝り固まっていく」という事態は見られていない。


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